Perpetual motion

Can't stop learning…

Nation’s Triathlon

I didn’t meet my goals for The Nation’s Triathlon (TNT), but I was very pleased with my race as a season closer, even if I didn’t get the outcome I wanted.

After Chicago, my goal was to race a 2:20 Oly. By my calculations, that’s a 25min swim, 65min bike, and 45min run with 5 minutes allowed for transitions (generous).

Day before, I went to registration, filled out the requisite forms, went to the expo, and then dropped goldilocks off in transition. I was in lucky row 13. Rain was forecast: I taped garbage bags on top of Goldilocks’s cockpit, seat and rear wheel. I was hoping it wouldn’t rain too hard, as that could possibly cancel the swim in the Potomac. As it turned out, I don’t think it rained at all Saturday evening.

4:30 Sunday, I caught a ride over to the race with Sarah. Plan was to ride Goldilocks home after the race (this won’t so much be possible, as you’ll find out later). It was already quite warm and moist (like the inside of a good muffin, or the conditions for a bad triathlon) at 5 AM, with bike glistening with dew. Got body marked (I don’t understand why races have started bodymarking the quads – it just gets covered (most of the time) by shorts), got my timing chip and went in to check on the bike to see how she held up over night. Everything seemed in prime order, but knowing that the final section of the race has some potholes, I made sure to inflate the front tire to avoid pinch flats. Tried to go to the bathroom, but I failed miserably. Got into the wetsuit at ~7 with a swim start scheduled for 7:20. Of course, I immediately had to #1. Figured I’d just go in the Potomac, and clean it up a little. Jump in the water, and I just couldn’t go. Fuck.

Swim (30:29):
I’d say the swim was one of my better swims, especially with regards to sighting the course. The only mistake I can say I really made was sighting of the wrong bridge span (but I kept it as my sight all the way upstream). As I got near it, a kayaker forced me towards the correct span – maybe I lost a minute or two there, but nothing significant. Made the turn and headed down stream, which seemed both choppier and slower. Finished and had to wait maybe 15-30 seconds for the ladder to clear before I could get out.

T1 (2:21):
Ran into transition, stirpped out of the weput on the shoes, the helmet, grabbed the spare tube and tire levers, and got ready to go. Then the tube fell out of my jersey. Got it, put it back. Then the inflator fell out. Put it back. Finally, the powertap computer fell off. I put that back on and ran out of transition. Need to work on my running bike start, but whatever. I was off and kicking ass pretty quickly.

Bike (1:05:15):
The goal for the bike was to be aggressive. If I wanted to break 2:20, I couldn’t sit back and wait to get up to speed. The first sections were quite technical with U-turns on Consitution Ave, but once I cleared through that section, I started blowing past people. Yeah, maybe this would screw up my run, but I needed to make up all the time I could on the bike as there just wasn’t a lot of time that I would be able to make up on the run. So the bike was really uneventful except that I passed a lot of people, almost got hit by an ambulance and put a lot of great training to use – my cadence, power, and time were all better than any other race this summer.

t2 (1:53):
This is the most aggravating thing of the whole summer, and perhaps the most costly. On Independence Drive, they have these squared off marble curbs. Very decorative, but you can wreck car tires just by driving into them. So imagine what would happen if you were running with your bike and didn’t lift it enough to have the rear rim clear the curb? Give up? It dents your rim, cuts your tire, and forces you to walk home after the race. Of course, I don’t know any of this other than the fact that my rear tire just explosively flatted as I was running my bike. Hell, if it had to happen, there was as good a place as any. Put on my running shoes and took off.

run (52:21):
This felt exactly like the end of the total 200 and the nyctri. I took off at a great pace. Again, I figured I still had a shot at 2:20 (I didn’t know what my time was at this point – but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t have a hope of 2:20). Made it through the first three miles feeling pretty good. And then my stomach revolted. I had to #1 and possibly #2 (you don’t want to know, but no, I didn’t end up #2ing. The only thing I shat was my run). I was beginning to feel like crap, so I pulled off the road, and peed against a tree hoping that maybe, just maybe, this would solve everything (it has on the bike before). It solved nothing. NOTHING. In fact, at this point I was having a hard time taking deep enough breaths to keep my body going. So I started walking. Walked quite a bit, then I sucked it up for the last mile or two and stumbled jogged my way into the finish.

Total Time: 2:32:17

I gave this race everything I had. I didn’t make my goal, but sometimes that happens. But I still had one hell of a race and that’s all I needed. I learned a great deal about what I want to focus on. Yeah, I missed out on the top 10%, top 10 finish that I wanted, but I’m ok with that. It’s something to work on next year.

For now: I’ve got a month worth of vacation from training. Time to fix the rear rim on Goldilocks, time to meet new people, time to reunite with old friends. And then I’ll be ready to start training again.

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  1. […] a month off from training. After training pretty much nonstop from April 06 to last weekend’s race, I could kind of use the break. My body actually made it pretty clear this past week: I’ve […]

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